The essential oil of Eugenia caryophyllata (clove oil; Family: Myrtaceae) is used in dental care as an antiseptic and analgesic. The present study investigates the effect of clove oil on animal models of depression and locomotion.METHODS:
Clove oil was administered in doses of 0.025, 0.05, and 0.1 ml/kg/day, intraperitoneally (i.p.) for 3 weeks. The forced swim test (FST) and the tail suspension test (TST) were used to assess depression. To evaluate locomotor activity, the rota rod test and the photoactometer procedure were performed.RESULTS:
In the FST, it was observed that the duration of immobility was significantly decreased (P < 0.01) in animals treated with clove oil (0.05 and 0.1 ml/kg); however, the clove oil dose of 0.025 ml/kg showed an insignificant increase in the immobile period. The TST demonstrated that pretreatment with clove oil decreases (P < 0.01) the immobile period significantly at all the three administered doses. Similarly, the photoactometer procedure showed increased locomotor activity at all the three doses, although significant (P < 0.05) only at 0.1 ml/kg. In addition, the rota rod test showed that animals treated with clove oil (0.1 ml/kg) enhanced muscle coordination as demonstrated by a significant increase (P < 0.05) in the latency to fall from the rota rod as compared to the control. However, the lowest administered dose (0.025 ml/kg, i.p.) decreased the latency to fall from the rota rod significantly (P < 0.05) compared to the control. Clove oil (0.05 ml/kg) also showed a decrease in the latency to fall from the rota rod although the result was not statistically significant.DISCUSSION:
Thus, it can be concluded that pretreatment with clove oil decreases depression and enhances locomotor activity similar to that exhibited by psychostimulants.